Sustainability Initiatives Empower Enterprises to Reduce Datacenter Expenses

IT managers have a new criterion driving purchasing decisions. Data center sustainability has become a top management concern. Why? Client interest in taking care of the planet is growing, and data centers create a lot of waste and use a lot of energy. Managers do find strong business cases for embracing sustainability.

C level business drivers shifted recently. In the past, potential customers were interested in the value of a company’s service or its low price. Nowadays, they are much more concerned about social issues, and a company’s environmental position has been moving up the priority list.

Businesses and consumers have become much more conscious about environmental issues and are actively seeking out and supporting environmentally responsible businesses. This year, CEOs listed environmental sustainability in their Top 10 business priorities, according to Gartner.

Illustrating the dramatic shift in thinking, the issue was outside the Top 10 three years ago, and seven years ago was not even listed in the Top 20.

Organizations are trying to move from the priority list to action. They are setting sustainability goals, and two-thirds of respondents (66%) are confident that they will meet them.

Computer equipment is a major energy user. Data centers consume a great deal of energy, contribute to the company carbon footprint, and have short lifecycles and end up in landfills. Consequently, IT managers are being charged with finding ways to make the computer infrastructure more eco-friendly.

How to Meet Sustainability Initiatives 

Here are a few steps they can take to create their sustainability story.

Extend Hardware Life Beyond Typical 3 to 5 Years

Data center hardware, such as servers, storage devices, and networking equipment, represents a significant yet quickly disposable investment. Because technology improves so rapidly, organizations seem to constantly be upgrading and replacing one system with another. One effective sustainability action is deferring the purchasing of new equipment. Extending the lifespan reduces the volume of systems that end up in the trash.

Repurpose Systems

An application may become too large for one system, so, what can businesses do with its legacy hardware?  Rather than send the existing server to the graveyard, organizations can reassign the hardware to support a different business function. This approach offers them the ability to skirt recurring, immediate, new hardware investments.

Avoid Buying New Boxes

Enterprises have been in the mode of adding hardware to support new applications. Nowadays, a steady stream of new apps makes their way into the data center. Often, these configurations are inefficient, using half or less of the available processing power. Instead of adding new boxes, corporations should first look at ways to subtract a system or two and run the apps on their existing systems. The processing power is already there, so why not use it?

Sustainability’s Strong Business Case

In addition to meeting customer interest, sustainability enables IT executives to better manage the technology resources.

Gain Needed System Stability

The rate of technological advancements in the IT industry is rapid, and vendors constantly push customers to upgrade their hardware. Deploying new data center systems is a time consuming and resource intensive process, one where many businesses have trouble keeping pace. Extending hardware lifespans reduces the frequency of such deployments, freeing up time and resources that can be allocated to other critical tasks.

Lower Service Costs

Customers often pay hefty warranty and service contracts when they buy new equipment. The contract is designed for the vendor’s business model and not necessarily the customer’s business needs. Suppliers want users to regularly upgrade their systems. Typically, they issue end of life warnings after a handful of years.

Customers often do not have a business need to upgrade to a new system but find themselves in a conundrum:  they need to find someone who can keep the system running. Third party maintenance firms may take on the post-warranty support work. Typically, they charge less than the vendor. Lowering the maintenance costs enables them to invest in true business needs over costly hardware maintenance. However, organizations must find a third party, like Top Gun, that understands this market and can help them find the best support organization.

Reduce Energy Expenditures

Data centers consume electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sustainable data centers optimize energy usage, leading to significant cost savings. By adopting energy-efficient technologies and implementing strategies, such as virtualization and server consolidation, enterprises reduce the footprint and chew up less electricity.

Reduce Software and Personnel Costs  

Running an efficient, sustainable datacenter creates ripple effects. Businesses save money since they do not have to pay for additional operating system licenses. Another plus is less maintenance activities, such as applying patches and upgrading systems. Corporations can reduce their staffing requirements or assign employees to other work.

In sum, IT managers have the chance to meet two different initiatives:  sustainability and budget balancing. Because of the benefits, 75% of organizations will implement a data center infrastructure sustainability program driven by cost optimization and stakeholder pressures by 2027, up from less than 5% in 2022.

One challenge is selecting the right physical infrastructure. The enterprise needs to understand how much processing power, network bandwidth, servers, cabling, and power is needed to support its applications. Then, it must select the best equipment options, deploy the infrastructure, and put tools in place to manage it. Often companies need expertise from partners, like Top Gun, to make those decisions.

Sustainability is becoming a key technology business consideration. IT departments can take steps, like server consolidation, to reduce their footprint.  The changes not only reduce the environmental impact but also help meet budget obligations, a definite win/win.

Adopting sustainability initiatives is a new requirement for IT departments. They are busy running the day to day operations and do not have the time needed to become experts in this area. Top Gun has worked with many companies in similar situations, applies their knowledge to your circumstances, and crafts the best path for you.

Contact Top Gun today to learn how our expertise can help you implement effective sustainability initiatives that align with your business goals.

Blog Author Details

Donna Pizarro
Senior VP, Storage & Transition Services

Top Gun
Donna’s LinkedIn Profile